The Liberty Connection

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Primary Evidence

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Revised April 17, 2009

Primary Evidence
Showing that William Irvine is the Founder of the 2x2 Church


Early workers said that he was…(1905 List)
Early friends said that he was…
Faith Mission said he was...
Later Workers that said he was…
Newspapers stated that he was…
Wm Irvine said that he was…

The following collection is provided to make it easier for the reader to analyze or study the actual words on record.
He was called the founder and supreme authority, leader, one of the founders, co-founder, originator; leader, co-leader, recognized leader; chief pioneer and given many other titles as well.

Newspaper Quotes regarding Wm Irvine's role in the 2x2 sect.

All Available Statements made by Wm Irvine

Excerpts from Letters by Wm Irvine - Claiming He was the Founder of “The Testimony”

John Long's Journal

Goodhand Pattison's Account

1942 George Walker's Statement to U.S. Selective Service

Fanny Carroll's Sermon

Rose Edward's Letter to Macmillers, Denver, CO, November 23, 1935

Wilson McClung's Statement

Wm Irvine's Letters

What the Newspapers have to say about who Wm Irvine was...

Faith Mission Letter

First Workers List - 1905

Court Cases

Alfred Magowan's Letter: In 1938, Alfred visited Wm Irvine in Israel for three weeks, along with Ed Cooney and R. Irwin.  (See Wm Irvine's Letters to Edwards dated 5/18/38 and 6/2/38).  It was during this visit in 1938 that Wm Irvine made his famous, often quoted statement to Alfred Magowan,


to which Alfred replied,


(See Testimony of a Witness for the Defence by Alfred Magowan 1/13/56, p 5)

Court Cases

The Impartial Reporter, July 17, 1913, records a libel suit at a court session held in Bristol, England, brought by the workers against Rev. D. L. Hayward who was issuing a leaflet against the Go-Preachers, implying they were engaging in white slave traffic, and procuring women for prostitution under the cloak of religion. The workers were successful in obtaining damage awards. (Bristol is due West of London; "assize" is a court session) The article states: "William Irvine, one of the founders of the Go-Preachers Society, said it was Protestant evangelical" and states that Wm Irvine also said, "I have never known of a new sect being founded without opposition".   

The Impartial Reporter of December 18, 1913, reports on a court case where Edward Cooney sued for libel against a London newspaper, The People, Ltd., and won. While under oath, Cooney was asked by Mr. Justice Darling, "Were you the founder of this sect?" Cooney replied, "No, William Irvine was the first, about sixteen years ago." This works out to 1897. In the early days and years, there was no reluctance in pointing to Irvine as the founder of their fellowship, which is recorded by numerous Impartial Reporter articles.

Quote of Wilson McClung who entered the work in 1903, along with his wife, and are shown on the 1905 Workers List
"We have no name,’ he replied, ‘but the ribald multitude give us many. Some call us Cooneyites, some call us Tramps, Faith Missionaries, No Secters, Women-Thieves, and so on. Well, we are Cooneyites. We are also McClungites, for Cooney is no greater than I. We have no established leader in this world. ‘Our mission was started by William Irwin, a Scotchman, seven or eight years ago. Others followed him. I myself was a Civil Servant in Dublin. I resigned my post, sold all that I had and gave to the poor, and went out to preach. The mission has grown gradually. Fifty men and women are now carrying the Word to the unenlightened in eight counties in England—rural England. There are as many in Scotland, more in Ireland." (Impartial Reporter, June 21, 1906, p. 3)

1895 - 1901 was when Wm Irvine was associated with the Faith Mission. The Faith Mission has an unofficial List of Workers who entered and left their service, and in July, 2004, Mr. Percival, the current president of Faith Mission, gave us a copy of the years 1895 through 1902. Mr. Percival gave his permission to me to print the list with the following being made clear: "This list was compiled by Mr. John Eberstein, former president of Faith Mission, who through research has produced a list of the early workers in the Faith Mission; giving details of when they joined the Mission, the date they left, and giving notes as to what happened to them after that." In other words, the list was not an on-going record or journal that was posted as each person joined and/or left the mission, but was reconstructed afterwards.

This list shows that William Irvine entered their service on June 14, 1895 and left in 1901 with the notation: "founded Cooneyites in S. Ireland." He was 32 years old when he started with them. At the time Wm Irvine joined the Faith Mission, there were 47 Faith Mission workers, (Letter dated November 22, 1993 from Keith Percival, General Director of The Faith Mission.)

The first time William Irvine's name was mentioned in a Faith Mission publication was two months after he joined them in Bright Words, August 15, 1895. His location was given as Ford Forge, about ten miles from Edinburgh: "In the south a mission is being worked by two brothers who have recently joined us, William Irvine from Queenzieburn..."